YPS board to appoint new member

Brian Coulson wins race after Michele Hawthorne withdraws

Brian Coulson was appointed to the Yukon School Board. (Photo by Robert Medley)

From Staff Reports

A new school board member will be appointed to attend upcoming meetings after filing for the Office 4 position and expecting a race for the seat in an April 6 election.

But Michele Hawthorne, the incumbent, withdrew, and newcomer Brian Coulson will automatically be elected.

Two other incumbents, Board President Suzanne Cannon and Board Member Don Rowe face opponents in the April election.

Since Hawthorne has withdrawn her candidacy, there will not be a race and Coulson will automatically be elected to the seat, said Canadian County Election Board Secretary Wanda Armold.

The YPS School Board is expected to vote on approving Coulson’s appointment at a meeting Monday, Feb. 1. He could be sworn in as an appointed board member on Monday.

Then in April, he will be the newly elected Office 4 board member, a district spokeswoman reports

Hawthorne withdrew on Dec. 11, so her name will not be on ballots for the April election.


She had filed for the seat before deciding to withdraw. Hawthorne had been appointed to the school board seat in February 2020 to fill a vacancy.

According to a statement from a YPS spokeswoman, during the filing process in December, Hawthorne discovered her home address was on the wrong side of the street to serve as a board member for the vacated seat.

Hawthorne and two other Yukon board members had drawn challengers for the upcoming election in the district.

It is the first time since 2012 that there has been a race for a school board seat in the Yukon district, a district spokeswoman reports.

The election is set for Tuesday, April 6, 2021. The winners will be sworn in at the May 3, 2021, board meeting.

School Board President Suzanne R. Cannon, Office 1, and Office 5 board member Don Rowe are in races to keep their seats on the board in April.

Filing at the Canadian County Election Board for Office 1 were Cannon, of Oklahoma City, and Andrew Lewis, of Yukon.

Cannon was elected as board president by the board members in July.

It is Cannon’s third time to serve the board as president. She has been on the school board for 10 years.

In Office 5, the unexpired term is open for election, and incumbent Rowe will face challenger Cody Sanders, of Yukon.

Hawthorne succeeded Jeff Behymer as Office 4 representative. Behymer – who had served since July 2016 – then resigned in December 2019 after moving to a home outside Office 4.